by Arianna Huffington

Overall, another 95,000 jobs were lost in September. Maybe they should start calling it the no-jobs report. Ezra Klein crunches the numbers to explain why the addition of 64,000 private sector jobs is pitifully inadequate:

"That's about 35,000 less than the 100,000 or so jobs needed to keep up with population growth. It's about 180,000 less than the number of jobs needed to get back to 5 percent unemployment in the next 10 years."

In other words, the economy is not bouncing back anytime soon. Even worse, it's clear that Washington is not up to the task of creating the conditions for the job growth the country so desperately needs.

A deep-seated cynicism is not an unreasonable response. But I'm pleased to report that hundreds of thousands of Americans across the country are choosing to react by taking action. As a result, a parallel economy is being created by people who, finding there are no jobs, have decided to create their own.

Through the creative use of technology, social media and a focus on community, this new wave of small businesses is making its mark in a true convergence of left and right. At the moment, our government may be can't-do, but more and more of our citizens are solidly can-do -- and irrepressibly American.

Americans have a lot of passion and ingenuity, and there is a clear market in helping bring them to market. Enter and, which have now grown large enough to have a multiplier effect rippling across the country.

Etsy was founded in 2005 by Robert Kalin. Then 25, he was an aspiring furniture designer feeling frustrated by his attempts to sell his work online. So he created a streamlined platform for handmade goods of all kinds, and launched it from his apartment.

The site's mission? "To enable people to make a living making things, and to reconnect makers with buyers. Our vision is to build a new economy and present a better choice." Which is exactly what Etsy is doing. And along with creating jobs, this new economy is creating connections, and caring, and community.

Colleen Fields, 54, lives in a remote town in the mountains of North Carolina. Two years ago, she was laid off from her job as a newspaper subscriptions manager. "I must have sent out a thousand or more resumes and applications," she told The Huffington Post. "I applied for a job at a convenience store, and they said they had over 200 applicants. It's just crazy. There are no jobs around this area."

A friend suggested she look into Etsy. Not exactly computer literate, she nevertheless gave it a try. In December 2009 she opened her online store, Gemstones and Wire, selling necklaces, earrings and handmade clay vases. She wrote about how some women pay all their family bills with small businesses started through Etsy. "I'm just not one of them yet. I would love to be one of them," she added.

CafePress was started in 1999. Based in San Mateo, Calif., the company provides on-demand printing for mugs, T-shirts and products designed by users, "uniting and rewarding self-expression." It now gets 11 million unique visits a month and, with its 6.5 million users, adds around 2,000 new, independent shops and 45,000 new products every day.

One of the hallmarks of this entrepreneurial movement is community -- including an emphasis on local food, local agriculture and sustainable business practices. One of the ironies of this new wave of small businesses is how the global reach of the web has been so pivotal in connecting people to their own communities.

Judy Wicks, the owner of the famed White Dog Cafe in Philadelphia, founded the Business Alliance for Local Living Economies (BALLE), which now has 80 local chapters in the U.S. and Canada. To spread the local food gospel of the White Dog, Wicks also founded Fair Food, which connects local family farms with city dwellers.

In Lexington, Ky., Fresh Stop is an attempt to bring the benefits of community-supported agriculture to those who couldn't normally afford it. Forming partnerships with churches, Fresh Stop asks those who can afford it to pay a bit more for what they buy, which subsidizes those for whom the fresh -- and healthy -- food would otherwise be out of reach.

I love how human this movement is. It's fueled by technology, but at its core is a real person connecting to another real person. As Twitter founder Biz Stone said of his company: "Twitter is not a triumph of tech. It's a triumph of humanity."

Technology is what will allow this very American movement to scale up and begin to have a real impact. But it's in our backyards and basements that it begins. "To be attached to the subdivision, to love the little platoon we belong to in society, is the first principle (the germ as it were) of public affections," wrote Edmund Burke. "It is the first link in the series by which we proceed towards a love to our country, and to mankind."

Can-Do Entrepreneurs Move Beyond Can't-Do Government